Even though the 2020 season isn’t starting the way MLB fans anticipated, there was still a great second decade of the millennium for baseball. A lot has changed in terms of rules, players, and atmosphere this past decade, but when baseball returns in 2020, it will be better and more anticipated than ever before!
To get hyped for the upcoming season, let’s take a look back at the last 10 years with my picks for an MLB All-Decade team.
Starting Pitcher Rotation:
With deGrom winning the last two National League Cy Young awards, he deserves a spot in the all-decade starting rotation. Even though his records were not the greatest in 2019 (11-8) and 2018 (10-9), he led the National League with 255 strikeouts in 2019 and led all of MLB with a 1.70 ERA in 2018. At only 31 years of age, he should be able to get 10 more great years!
With three Cy Young Awards, Scherzer had an unbelievable decade. He led the National League in wins in 2013 (21), 2014 (18), 2016 (20), and 2018 (18). Although he finished 2019 with 11 wins, he had a winning season in each of the last 10 seasons.
Kershaw is only one of two pitchers to win a league MVP award this past decade. Although he is still looking for his first world championship, Kershaw is a world-class pitcher.
In 2014, Kershaw had an outstanding season going 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA and 239 strikeouts to win the National League Cy Young and MVP award. Kershaw also won the Cy Young award in 2013 and 2011 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The other pitcher to win a league MVP award this past decade was Verlander. In 2011, he had a dominant season with the Detroit Tigers going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts to win the American League MVP award. It will be interesting to see how Verlander performs next season after the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal aftermath, especially after losing to the Washington Nationals in the World Series last year.
Despite missing most of the 2019 season, the ace for the Cleveland Indians had a good decade. He led the American League with 18 wins in 2017 and 2014. His 18 wins and 2.25 ERA in 2017 also led all pitchers in MLB.
For Cincinnati Reds fans, Chicago Cubs fans, and New York Yankees fans this past decade, they know that Chapman can be very scary at times when he gets called up in the ninth inning. The hardest throwing relief pitcher in the major leagues was either really good or just throwing the ball erratically.
In 10 years, Chapman appeared in six All-Star games including the last two years with the Yankees. He also helped the Chicago Cubs win their first World Series title since 1908. His efforts in 2019 also earned him the Mariano Rivera AL Reliever of the Year award after getting 37 saves with a 2.21 ERA and 85 strikeouts.
Kimbrel won the AL Reliever of the Year award in 2017 after earning 35 saves with a 1.43 ERA and an impressive 0.68 WHIP with 126 strikeouts with the Boston Red Sox. Despite Kimbrel missing most of last season due to injury, he is anxious to return to the Chicago Cubs in 2020.
Catcher: Buster Posey
The 2010 Rookie of the Year did not have a spectacular 2019 season, but his stats from 2010 to 2018 earned him a spot on the All-Decade team. The 2012 MVP won three Silver Slugger awards in four years with the San Francisco Giants and appeared in the All-Star game six times in seven years.
First Baseman: Miguel Cabrera
Cabrera did not do a whole lot the last three years, but the two-time AL MVP certainly dominated with the Detroit Tigers in the earlier years of this past decade. In 2012, Cabrera became the first MLB player since 1967 to win the Triple Crown. He hit 44 home runs, 139 RBIs, and a .330 batting average to become only the 12th player in MLB history to win the Triple Crown.
He was also named an All-Star in seven straight seasons and won five Silver Slugger awards this past decade.
Second Baseman: Robinson Cano
At 36 years old, Cano is not what he used to be at the start of the decade. Although Cano never won an MVP award, he was a six-time All-Star in the last 10 years and he won the second baseman Golden Glove award in 2010 and 2012.
He also won the Silver Slugger award in four straight years from 2010 to 2013. It will be interesting to see if Cano can get his groove back in the next few years.
Third Baseman: Josh Donaldson
Donaldson is one of those players that can’t stay with one team for a long time. He has played for three different teams in the last two season and he will be playing for a new team in 2020 (Minnesota Twins).
Donaldson’s best season this past decade was 2015 with the Toronto Blue Jays when he won the American League MVP award. He led all the major leagues with 122 runs scored and led the American League with 123 RBIs in 2015. Donaldson also won the Silver Slugger award in 2015 and 2016.
Shortstop: Derek Jeter
Jeter’s last game was in 2014, but the most respected player in MLB history deserves a spot in the All-Decade team. In 2012, he led MLB with 216 hits, which was the second-most in a season of his career (219 in 1999).
The greatest Yankee shortstops in history is 14-time All-Star, a four-time Silver Slugger award winner, and a 5-time World Series champion.
The youngest player in this All-Decade team has made a name for himself in the history books. At 22 years old in 2015, Harper became one of the youngest players in history to win the National League MVP award with the Washington Nationals. He led the National League with 118 runs and 42 home runs that year.
Harper’s first season with the Philadelphia Phillies did not go quite as planned in 2019, but he will look to bounce back with them in 2020.
Yelich won the 2018 National League MVP with the Milwaukee Brewers after leading the NL with .326 batting average, a 1.000 OPS, and 343 total bases. Yelich had a better season in 2019, but finished second in the MVP standings losing to Los Angeles Dodger Cody Bellinger.
Yelich won the Silver Slugger award in 2016 with the Miami Marlins and in his last two seasons with the Brewers.
Trout won the American League MVP award three times in the last 10 years with the Los Angeles Angels (2014, 2016, 2019). Even though the Angels have only been to the playoffs once this past decade (2014), Trout was an animal in the last 10 years.
The 2012 Rookie of the Year won the Silver Slugger award in seven of the last eight seasons and was named an All-Star in all but one of his nine years in the major leagues. From 2012-2019, Trout also finished in the top four in the MVP standings.
DH: David Ortiz
Big Papi was a big hitter for the Boston Red Sox. In his final season in the major leagues in 2016, Ortiz led the American League with 127 RBIs to earn his sixth Silver Slugger Award. He also led the major leagues with 48 doubles and a .620 slugging percentage in 2016.
Ortiz was also a big helper in 2013 for the team and the Boston community after the Boston Marathon bombings to later win the World Series the same year.
Am I missing anyone? What do you think about my picks? Let us know in the comments below, or chat with us on Instagram (@thebullpen_) or Twitter (@TheBullpen12).
Cover Photo credit to ESPN